I’m one of those people: A resident of a large west coast city, left dazed and confused after the Presidential election, and more than a little concerned what lies ahead. A regular consumer of news and information, these past two weeks I’ve ignored reading papers, watching TV and listening to the radio. The President-elect reports grate my nerves down to bloody raw points. I’ve become short tempered and, I admit, intolerant. I simply cannot hear another thing about any of it. Especially the media’s weird third-person analysis of itself.
On the drive home from work last night I felt a desperate need for something to smile about; something to look forward to doing. I called a friend and made plans for Sunday. But then Thanksgiving crossed my mind and the thought of it made me feel all the more sad.
Don’t get me wrong. My foodie sister and brother-in-law throw a fantastic party and their dinner concoctions are always to die for. I always look forward to what they have in store for us. But I miss a traditional holiday meal: Easter ham and scalloped potatoes, Thanksgiving turkey with all the trimmings, Christmas roast and Yorkshire pudding, my father’s brussels sprouts and my mother’s bay shrimp avocado salad. I could count on having at least one of these meals each year when my folks were alive.
Thinking how much I missed those meals steered me towards a specialty grocery instead of driving straight home. This weekend, I thought, I’m going to cook a traditional holiday meal. Who cares if it’s just for me!
My kitchen counters are now covered with vegetables, potatoes, squash, yams, beans, parsnips, dried bread for stuffing, walnuts, pecans, fresh cranberries and herbs…you name it. I drew the line at turkey, though. I got a Cornish game hen and will stuff that instead. It’s just the right amount of food for one person, plus leftovers, because what is a holiday meal without leftovers?
You know, I think I have me a new holiday tradition!